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Kids read to kids

Scott N. Miller
Austin Richardson/Vail DailySecond graders Francesca Marquery, Lexi Meichtry, Brookie Wallace and Jimmy Green shovel snow in the parking lot of St. Clare of Assisi in Edwards as part of Catholic Schools Week.
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EDWARDS – Jackie Rascon grabbed Gracen McGuckin’s hand and led her straight to a big box of books. Rascon found her favorite, a pop-up book with birds, alligators and frogs, and laid it in McGuckin’s lap. McGuckin, a fifth grader at St. Clare of Assisi school, started reading.There was plenty of reading going on Friday in the big room at the Family Learning Center. The fifth grade class from St. Clare of Assisi came over, and each older kid was paired up with a pre-schooler for some reading and get-to-know-you time.

For McGuckin, the second-oldest of five siblings, reading to a youngster comes easily. She said she reads to her younger brothers and sisters from time to time. Sometimes, they even enjoy it.”I think this is fun,” McGuckin said. “It’s fun to get to know these kids.”The kids from St. Clare and the Family Learning Center don’t see each other much. The two operations are separate, and the Family Learning Center is actually a tenant at the St. Clare property.”The kids were very excited for the fifth graders to come over,” said Margaret Wallace, a teacher at the Family Learning Center. “It’s nice for them to see older kids. All these kids are going to kindergarten next year, so it’s good for them to see kids who are in school.”Preschooler Tony Hernandez was thrilled to spend some time with fifth grader Jordyn Church.”It’s fun to have them here,” he said.The fifth graders’ quick trip to the preschool was the final event of Catholic Schools Week.”It’s kind of like our spirit week,” school secretary Jennifer Bianchi said. “We’ve had different events every day.”

Earlier in the week, kids had days for wearing crazy hats and hair, an all-school indoor picnic in the gym, and, of course, a celebration of faith.”We’ve done it every year since we opened in 2000,” Bianchi said. “We try to do something a little different every year.”Except for community service – that’s a constant.”It’s part of being in Catholic Schools,” Bianchi said. “There’s an appreciation for the community we’re in, so we stop and appreciate everything that’s going on around us.”Some Catholic schools expect a lot of community service from their students.”I went to Catholic school in Detroit, and we needed 25 hours of community service to graduate,” Bianchi said.For teacher Carol Walker’s fifth graders, an hour of reading to, and playing with, preschoolers was a good start.”It’s fun to hang out with these kids,” Church said. “They’re great.”Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14624, or smiller@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado


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